Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Birds in my Attic???  What kind of blog name is that????

Well - my house is a bungalow with a peaked roof.  It is insulated well and at this point inaccessible as the attic hatch was sealed to save energy.

There is a lovely little flock of sparrows that roost every evening in my cedar tree out front.  I couldn't figure out where they were coming from until my neighbour Julie pointed out they were nesting in my eaves!  Damned if there isn't a small hole in the fascia (or is it a soffit?) front and back of my house and the little buggers got in and built a small city in my attic eaves.  :-(  In the morning it is like a clown car of sparrows as they all shove their way out the small hole.

I can't bring myself to seal the holes until the babies fledge and fly out.  I know it is the practical thing to do but I just can't.  They are pretty big and should be moving out soon.  I will wait until everyone has left the attic for the day and then put up temporary screening over the holes.  Hopefully that will let me identify if any are trapped inside and release them. 

So "Birds in my Attic" seemed an apt title and one my friends will assume refer to the scattered way my brain works rather than wee birdies actaully living in my attic.  :-)  It makes me smile and will stay as the title.

Trying this blogging thing again!

Well, it has been over a year since I posted - hard to believe I actually have a degree in Creative Writing with this kind of record!  :-)

Since moving to Winnipeg I have secured my job at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as the Footwear Manager and, in February, bought a wee little house built in 1913 and moved in on my 1st anniversary of moving to Winnipeg.  It is on a small lot (25' x 90') but has a true south oriented backyard that I am currently working to convert from white pea gravel to a garden with a living driveway.  It will be a couple of years until I am done but I think it will be good for my body and my soul.

This is how it looked when the gravel was just installed, probably 2 years ago, when I moved in it was much grayer looking and compacted as it had been used as a parking lot continuously. 

Below is the front of the house (again taken about 2 years ago) - that is a tree form cedar in the centre and a paper bark birch to the right.  It has a nicer form of gravel - black stone.  Yesterday I planted  my first shrubs - 3 cotoneasters on the right side behind the firehydrant and 2 native, redleafed roses on the left side of the walk.  There will be a lime green 9 bark between the 2 roses to add a hit of contrast.  Earlier, in a fit of garden fever, I removed the weed cloth from the base of both trees and planted some 'rebelina' bi-coloured violas and some native downy woodland violets (viola pubescens) under the birch. 

I can't take credit for plant choice as I have a wonderful garden consultant - William (Bill) Dowie - who has a very compatible esthetic and is very knowledgeable about native plantings.  He is both helping me design a pair of gardens (I say I would like something like "x" and he says how to implement and/or modifies to create what I didn't know I wanted!) that can be gradually implemented and will be doing a lot of the hardscape building for me.  He is great in that he believes in teaching others to do the work so they can carry forward on projects and hopefully teach others! 

The front yard will be mostly native plants (grasses, shrubs and flowers) with the hope of creating habitat for local bugs and bees and birds.  It will be a prairie cottage garden! 

The back will be a set of raised beds and a low deck.  Bill also suggested a green-screened living driveway (maybe creeping thyme underfoot) for my car, nestled against the neighbour's garage.  LOVE IT.

Wish me luck everyone!  This will consume my life this summer.